POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 6:43pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 6:44pm
Tyler, Texas — Preparation for the Smith County Jail expansion project will begin tomorrow.
The sixteen month jail expansion project is expected to bring road closures for nearly a year.
A six story high-security jail will be built off the East side of the square in downtown Tyler.
Commissioner Warr, from the Smith County Commissioner's Court Pct.1 told KETK, "by having the new facility it obviously gets the city back in compliance, with state laws, we've been out of compliance for almost a decade now. so it brings us back into compliance and well save the tax payers obviously a lot of money cause we wont have that out of county transport and out of county housing, which ran as high as 2 million dollars a year, over."
The construction will result in partial road closure and limited parking.
Commissioner Warr said that people should expect road closures starting August 22nd, reverting back to the old one way streets so that Smith County can begin building its new jail expansion."
Portions of Spring Avenue, Erwin Street, and Fannin Avenue will be barricaded and transformed into one-way streets.
Warr said, "That will be some effect and have some effect on businesses but people will still be able to get within 100ft of the businesses they want to go to."
Some local businesses are worried about how it will affect their customers.
Manager from Levine's, Ralph Mason, told KETK, "There's always an effect when we lose parking spaces, but at least it didn't start until after back to school was over, so like all things, with improvements and with things that change downtown, theres always a little pain involved and you just learn to live with it.
Commissioner Warr told KETK that the near one hundred construction workers should bring business to the restaurants in the area and the other business owners on the square told KETK that their only concern is the limited parking spaces.
However, Warr said that there are County employee parking spots that can be opened up if necessary.
He also said that it is never a bad thing when downtown is too busy and needs more spots. He said that there shouldn't be much of a problem for the businesses in the area or for people attending jury duty.
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